Wednesday, August 01, 2007

Body Image

Lena, Cheeky Lotus, made me think of this today after reading her post. We are adults and should try to see what is on the inside and not focus so much on the outside. I was taught that when I was growing up. Odd that people we are closest to are the ones voicing their not so wonderful opinions about our body image. Too fat, too skinny, too pale, too tan, too this and too that. How can we expect society to change if we cannot get the people around us to just plain back off and accept us just the way we are? Kudos to Lena’s Mom and my Mom for being wonderful no matter what.

My problem was just the opposite. High metabolism rate lead to people constantly accusing me of an eating disorder. These were my friends and some boyfriends who also saw me eat. All. Day. Long. My weight in 6th grade was only 98 pounds. That was still my weight when I was married the first time. It was still my weight three months after my first child was born and my second. Once I was asked why I still had my Lee jeans from 6th grade? Um, Because they still fit and it is a hard size to find. People who constantly said “You need to check into a hospital”, “There is something wrong with you”, some even offered a shoulder. What could I do to convince them there was nothing I could do about it? Every once in awhile all of this would get to me and I was resolved to gain weight! If it killed me I was going to get over the 100 pound mark!!

I made it over the 100 pound mark several times but it was always short lived. Usually after gaining only a few pounds my body would retaliate against me. This would result in my being ill for a week or two with a virus, cold, flu (middle of summer dang it!). When I got sick of being sick I gave up. Let them think what they want! I would rather avoid them than be ill for a week or two.

When I was pregnant with my third child I did not heed the directions of my doctor. He noticed a rapid weight gain and voiced his concerns. This was the same doctor who delivered my first two children. This was the same doctor who saw me go straight back to 98 pounds each time. I was very upset about not keeping some of the weight. My friends were all so thrilled to see me looking “healthy”, meeting their standards. This thrilled me!! For the first month after delivery I could wear real clothes! When I found something I liked I could find more than one stinkin’ pair in my size! Unlike before when I would go shopping the ONE size small or the ONE size 2, and 4 were gone as soon as they hit the rack! (growling at that memory)

I scoffed at the Doctor and my co-workers for telling me I was getting too fat. I would just roll my eyes at them and sometimes explain I have been down this road twice before. This time I was bent on keeping some of this pregnancy weight. I ate everything and anything I could. I ate a whole box of cream puff all by myself!! I went from 98 pounds to 174.5 pounds in just 9 months. I had no chin and no ankles. Just a few days before my C-Section I had pushed the drivers seat of my Crown Victorian back as far as it would go. If I gained one more inch around my pregnant belly I would no longer fit behind the wheel.

After delivery of my third child and my 32nd birthday, my metabolism decided it was going to just give up completely. Not a gradual slow down but all out give up. My youngest is now 8 years old and I am 165 pounds. I could stand to loose weight, as I do look over weight, but I finally feel comfortable. Thank goodness I no longer look like a teenager. Part of that is in my mind regarding my current weight. I think if I lost 30 pounds or so I would go back to looking much younger than I am. You may think that would be great but trust me I lived with that until I reached my current weight. Looking too young had many disadvantages just like being too skinny. For instance I have worked in my current field for years but co-workers did not take me seriously. They did not think I had the experience under my belt based on my looks. All they saw was this hot, petite, little “girl”.

The teens at the mall are not the dark scary creatures some people think they are with their all black attire. Most of the "goth" teens I have chatted with from time to time are the most well read, more so than most adults or college students I know.

I would like to vertually slap those who thought I had an eatting disorder and those who automatically assumed that pretty, thin and smart cannot all be found in one person. Remember Fawn Hall (pictured above - secretary to Oliver North) at the Iran-Contra Affair hearings "And yes, Gentelmen, I can type". I want that type of moment! Glaring down at all those who thought she was a blonde bimbo.

Anyone you want to vertually slap for a wrong assumption baised on your appearance?


Brillig said...

Love this post... I hope you enjoyed delivering your virtual slap! It was well done!

Blondie said...

Great view of the other side of things. Don't we all deal with this in one way or another?

I am 5 feet tall, and I am constantly thought to be younger. The other night I was carded at a local restaurant. I am 32!

MommasWorld said...

Brillig, yes I enjoyed getting this off my chest :-)

Blondie, I am just over 5 feet and even with the extra weight people constantly think I am in my 30s but I just turned 40 {woohoo!} My little sister has it worse. She is 35 and about 4 foot 8 and weighs around 120. People think she is a teenager. One plus for my weight...teenage boys stopped hitting on me! :-)